Canadian dairy farmers being 'very unfair' to USA counterparts, Trump rails

Andrew Cummings
April 21, 2017

U.S dairy farmers struggling with low milk prices worry that President Donald Trump's 2017 talk of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement could harm trade to Mexico, its biggest export market.

"Canada is not to blame for the global situation that both Canadian and American dairy farmers face", David MacNaughton said in a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

MacNaughton says the facts don't bear out that Canada's policies are the cause of financial loss for USA dairy farmers.

Trump said during a speech Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that".

Trade groups for US dairy farmers have complained that a policy rolled out in Canada recently violates the trade agreement by creating incentives for Canadian processors to use local supplies. About 70 dairy producers in both US states are affected.


The trip brought Trump to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, but Ryan was out of the country on a congressional trip.

The Montreal Economic Institute recommended limiting protectionism in both industries to help consumers, spur economic productivity, and ultimately create more successful businesses in both countries. In return, Ellis said the Canadian Dairy Commission has promised to provide cheap milk for production.

"Mexico is our biggest destination for dairy and it's not only dairy", said Fairfield farmer Harold Howrigan Jr., of the USA trade partnership with Mexico. "We're very anxious about our friends and colleagues who's dairy farms have not been picked up by a new processor yet".

"As an American, I hope that America wins something in return for, really, the dealings that haven't been in good faith by the Canadian government", he said.

"Ultimately governors and people in the states recognize the importance of our relationship and that it's two-way, and we are going to continue to build on that", McNeil said. That's why countries including Australia and New Zealand have also raised objections to Canada's harmful actions.


"We can't produce milk against the U.S. Treasury", he said.

"To the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Trudeau. back off!"

With a bluntness befitting their shared environment, President Donald Trump and Charles Schumer added the latest cross-border volleys in a battle over the ultra-filtered milk produced at O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia.

David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US, rejects the accusations. He told The Canadian Press that despite some USA rhetoric and his rebuttal letter sent to US officials on Tuesday, he still expects "constructive discussions" between the two countries.

In Canada, through supply management, quotas for milk are set for producers and demand is met with little surplus.


"Simply put, the US, and for that matter, for the last of years, right around the world, there has been too much milk produced", he said."This oversupply in the U.S.is especially a challenge where there is a lack of processing capacity".

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